Former governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Prof. David Aworawo of UNILAG, Mr. Soji Awogbade, of the Voice of Reason, a pro-Yoruba organisation and Yinka Odumakin, Afenifere spokesman have told Nigerian that restructuring of the country is the only way forward.
Ezeife said Nigeria is not an accident of British colonialism but a creation of God using British colonialism. He said Nigeria has not attained the position of global leadership because of its current structure.
Odumakin disagreed on the notion that Nigeria is a creation of God. He said Nigeria was created by the British.
He said the colonialists did not have the concept of nationhood when they amalgamated the protectorates of northern and southern Nigeria in 1914.
These were the positions they adopted on Wednesday at a conference on restructuring organised by the Institute of African and Diaspora Studies (IADS), the University of Lagos (UNILAG).
According to Ezeife, Nigeria has failed to attain the role of a global superpower because of her unitary structure.
He said: “God designed for Nigeria, unmatched greatness, to enable her to achieve His purpose for creating her. That purpose is Nigeria’s manifest destiny.
“To restructure Nigeria, and make her able to achieve her manifest destiny is the task every Nigerian should pray for and help to bring about. This task must be performed, and urgently too.
“Surely, Nigeria was not an accident of British imperialism. No, God created Nigeria using British imperialism’s mere tools. And God created Nigeria to be a rallying point and big brother for Africa and, indeed, for all the blacks on earth.”
He also blamed the National Assembly for contributing to the current problems the country is passing through, adding that the National Assembly must also be restructured for Nigeria to work.
“Recently, the National Assembly dealt with the issue of devolution of power, which is a key element in the restructuring of Nigeria. Devolution of power deals with sharing of power between the centre or Federal Government and the federating units. It is what makes a federation a federation. As it were, by their rejection of devolution of powers, the National Assembly is saying no to the appellation Federal Republic of Nigeria. The National Assembly is part of the problem and needs to be restructured to work in the overall interest of the country. It is clearly unrealistic to leave the issue of restructuring Nigeria to the National Assembly as it is composed,” he added.
Odumakin, who is the publicity secretary of pan Yoruba group, Afenifere, said the British never envisioned Nigeria to be a nation.
“There is nothing like Nigerian nation. The British did not have nationhood in mind; they merely amalgamated the southern and northern protectorate. The Southern protectorate was making £500,000 surplus and the Northern protectorate was making £500,000 deficit. Lord Lugard needed the money from the south to run Nigeria. That has continued to date.”
He noted that the report of the 2014 National Conference would have addressed all the problems confronting Nigeria today if it was implemented.
“The 2014 National Conference had a unanimous agreement on all subjects before it except derivation. The only way Nigeria can achieve peace is to restructure along federal lines where every region will control its resources. The command and control structure we have now will not allow us to developed.”
He added that every part of the country has enough resources to develop and urge leaders in the North opposed to restructuring to put their resources into productive use.
“In Economics, the first of the factors of production is land. Niger State has more land than the whole southeast states put together, they should put their land to productive use.
“You also talk of labour, what happened to the population? They should be put to work. The problem we have today is that people are hanging about, playing Baba Ijebu, they don’t want to do anything, but they want quick money.